With just one preseason game left on the Warriors‘ schedule, they may be down to three choices for their 15th roster spot, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic: Avery Bradley, Gary Payton II, or luxury tax savings.
As Slater outlines, Bradley looked like the frontrunner early in the fall, but he hasn’t wowed the team during the preseason, leaving the door open for Payton to push for a roster spot following his return from hernia surgery. Payton had a strong debut in Tuesday’s contest vs. the Lakers, scoring 12 points and providing energy and solid defense off the bench. He’ll have another opportunity in Friday’s preseason finale vs. Portland to make a case to stick around.
The Warriors have just 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, since swingman Damion Lee only has a partial guarantee, so technically two roster spots could be up for grabs. But Lee showed on Tuesday why he has been penciled into that 14th spot, as he put up 16 points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes of action as a starter.
“He’s had a great camp, and he’s a guy on our team who we kind of take for granted,” Kerr said of Lee, per Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s such a pro. He’s such a rock-solid player. He’s ready every night, whether I play him 20 minutes or whether I don’t play him at all. He’s always prepared.”
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- Appearing on SiriusXM NBA Radio (video link), Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers explained why he didn’t feel the need to talk to Draymond Green about comments Green made on a podcast over the summer. Green said in the podcast that the front office mishandled its response to his on-court confrontation with Kevin Durant during KD’s last season in Golden State. “He’s allowed to feel how he feels about that and so is Kevin,” Myers said. “I’ve been through too much with him. I’ve watched that guy win three championships with us. I can’t get upset about (his comments) — I just won’t. … Him and Kevin, the good they’ve done for me and our franchise way outweighs anything like that.”
- Once James Wiseman gets healthy, the Warriors don’t intend to shuffle him back and forth between the NBA and G League, Slater writes for The Athletic. The team might send Wiseman to Santa Cruz as he gets back up to speed, but once he gets recalled to the NBA, the plan is for him to stay there, according to Slater, whose article takes an in-depth look at assistant coach Dejan Milojević‘s developmental plan for the young center.
- The 20-year-old Wiseman is only the third-youngest player on a roster that includes a pair of teenagers, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga. Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer explores the challenge Golden State will face as it tries to focus on winning games while also developing its young lottery picks.
- Shaun Livingston and Zaza Pachulia, who both have roles in the Warriors’ basketball operations department, spoke to team broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald about how their experiences as players in Golden State made it an easy decision to rejoin the franchise once their playing careers ended.
- In case you missed it, we published our recap of the Warriors’ offseason on Wednesday night.